Fun-Filled School Days

Dr. William Glasser, founder of The Quality School, believes that nature gave us a gene that craves fun, and that this fun-need is satisfied through learning.

Think about it. Children are born explorers, wanting to know what is out there and testing everything to see what it looks like, tastes like, feels like, sounds like or smells like. The reward for this fun is knowledge.

The philosopher Socrates saw education as a spontaneous process. Although school definitely has its place, learning has more to do with living and experiences than with books and classrooms.

Teachers are planters of ideas and cultivators of your own imagination. All a teacher can do is give information and explain its application. What you do with that information is up to you, so embrace it rather than reject.

Attitude is a major player in successful learning. Education prepares you for an unknown future so develop a taste for learning, and encourage your children to love learning. Our technological progress has grown exponentially because we, as a nation, refuse to settle for the status quo.

There is a direct correlation between a poor attitude and low achievement. A negative attitude breeds frustration and produces stress. See learning as a challenge to be met and overcome. Watch your self-talk; purposely think things like: “I enjoy learning. I will understand this. I feel good about increasing my knowledge. Math is fun.”

Learning is not only obtaining knowledge but also knowing how to use that knowledge and how retrieve it at a later date. A disinterested student might question, “Why do I have to know this anyway?” Knowledge will make you a more interesting person and the world a more interesting place. The beautiful thing is, once you learn it, it is yours to keep and to use.

Learning is fun.
Reflect on your most fun filled days. It is probably because you were learning something. Perhaps you were improving a skill, enjoying nature or improving an interpersonal relationship. Bottom line, you were learning. And enjoying.

The more healthy your self-esteem, the more easily you learn. A primary cause of poor learning is having a poor self-image, not a lack of ability. A person is controlled by his self-image; the way you see yourself determines the way you behave. It does not matter what others believe about you, it only matters what you believe about yourself.

Cooperation is important. Each person is wonderful, special, unique and important. The trouble comes when we expect others to treat us like we are wonderful, special, unique and important. The more you see your good qualities and the more you see what is good about others, the more you will perform accordingly. And life will reward you accordingly.

Make your school days quality by wanting to learn and by always doing your best. Get a good night’s sleep so you will be refreshed and ready for fun. When needed, be sure to ask your teacher for help. She is your friend and co-partner.

I'd love to hear your insights. Please comment.

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Choices and Attitudes

Who has not had an experience when your back was against the wall? What to do? As with most things in life, the array of choices and attitudes are vast. In a rush-rush, worry-worry world one may become blind to options.

There is always a choice. Even in extreme limits, one always has a choice and can make things better or can make things worse. I find this insight effective in dealing with the residents at the sanction center.

When they rebel against limits, I ask “Is there anything you can do to make the situation worse?”

Although coming from a negative perspective it seems to empower them to realize they are “in control.”

I continue, “Conversely, is there anything you can do to make the situation better.”

Reluctantly most agree that when their back is against the way they still have the power to make things better or worse.

Attitude is the deal-breaker. So what could possibly make an impossible situation a little bit better? The key is attitude.

Attitude comprises words used, tone of voice, sounds made, facial expressions and body language. Without a word being spoken, a simple shift from rebellion to resistance is noticeable. And in most cases that shift is visible enough to effect a lowering of defenses so communication/negotiation can be re-established.

Privileges are subject to change depending on one’s attitude.

Choices are empowering. When keys are misplaced, an initial response is “No!” That is denial. In a state of denial vision is narrowed, thinking is decreased and stress rises. A seemingly illogical decision to choose to accept the lost keys! Yet that frees the mind to remember where they might be. It activates the eyes to see rather than overlook. It also releases creativity to solve the problem.

The choice of keeping a good attitude in the midst of an inconvenience frees you to have a good day regardless.

Choices can be crippling. Too many choices can have a negative impact. In a study of consumer purchases, a vendor offering six flavors of jam sold to 30% of those who visited his display, whereas the vendor with 24 flavors had only a 3% buy-rate. Too many choices lead to a stalemate.

Make your attitude your ally. This is done through the power of choice; if not of the circumstance, then definitely of your response to the circumstance. In those no-choice-back-to-the-wall situations, attitude can be a lifesaver.

Please choose to comment on this post. Thanks and choose to have a wonderful day.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”


Conflicting Emotions

The need to know that our life matters is a need that cannot be denied. Each person is wonderful, special and important. One life is worth no more or no less than another.

Still, there remain two problems:

1) Thinking you are somebody (over self-confidence is a liability).

2) Thinking you are nobody (God does not make junk).

Each person is unique and special. Every human being has infinite worth and value by the simple fact of being created in God’s image. Beliefs are important because a person behaves the way s/he believes. Conflicting emotions produce conflicting behaviors. The belief that one does not matter (or matter too much) acts out by cheating, stealing, over-indulgences, addictions, perversions and inhumane acts.

Attitude plays a part. Perhaps nothing shapes our destiny more than the attitude we possess. It seems that low esteem, neediness and a negative attitude hang out together. A person with low esteem becomes his own worst enemy and then projects others to be against him. Get honest with self and ask, “Is the attitude I project helping me or hurting me?” “How is it helping?” “How is it hurting?” “What is my attitude doing to the important relationships in my life?”

Perception is important. One’s perception is his/her reality whether it is truth or not. My aim is to help people honestly explore their definition of what works. It is to help one self-evaluate to see if his behavior is in keeping with his core values. And if not, to be given tools to make changes. Each individual must come to that personal determination. When we encounter opposing ideas that engender anger within, I suggest our conscious trying to get us to wake up.

Destiny is shaped by choices made and all have consequences - good or bad. Behavior is purposeful and is our best attempt – at the moment – to get a need met. So the question is not “Will we get the need met?”, but “How will it be met?” and “What will be the outcome?”

Awareness is a key element in making positive change. We are a work in progress and will be under construction until the day we die. Continue to learn and to grow and to overcome. Do not allow circumstances to beat you down. Allow difficulties to be your tutor to learn life lessons.

Get to know you. Spent time in serious personal reflection to discover the wonderful person you are. You will find a unique human being with purpose and significance. Through meditation, be enabled to be freed from false macho or crippling shyness and become comfortable in one’s own skin. Search your heart and mind so the substance of who you are can be revealed to you. Esteem, wisdom, love, creativity, peace and joy are ours for the mining.

Everyone has an inner chamber into which s/he can retreat at will. It is a sanctuary free from daily cares, free from judgment, free from agitation, change and turmoil. It is a place where your senses can rest, where you are regenerated and recreated. The longer one stays in the secret place, the better equipped to handle the public life of the difficult. Life becomes congruent.

Now it's your turn. Share with us the ways you handle conflicting emotions, or ask for specific help in a specific area.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”


Power Tools

All of us seek identity, significance, purpose and power. The power need is the need to feel important and to be appreciated for who we are and for what we do. The power need is met through confidence, being heard and understood, accomplishments and in the giving and receiving of service and respect.

Motivational speaker Les Brown has six "Tools to Reclaim Your Power" Here is my interpretation of Les's tools.

1. It’s possible. When you have an idea that will benefit self and mankind it is possible that you can implement it. If anyone else in the entire world has done something out-of-the-box, then it is possible that you, too, can do something beyond your current skill level, whether simple or exemplary.

2. It’s necessary. Once you begin the possible it becomes a need to carry through. Having left a place of safety it is necessary to broaden one's comfort zone. It becomes a white-heat passion that must be fulfilled.

3. It’s you. Others may in time come alongside to assist, guide or carry on but initially the weight is on your own shoulders. It is dependent upon your own unlimited belief in yourself. It is you investing your time, your energy and your resources into a fledgling concept. It is you motivating you to keep on keeping on, to continue when everything within says "Quit".

4. It’s hard. An airplane needs resistance to fly. Mechanically - as well as physically and emotionally - it is hard to overcome pull and drag in order to soar. It is hard to keep up momentum when others may think you are crazy. It is hard to get up after a seeming defeat. It is hard to push for change in a complacent, smug, self-satisfied world.

5. It’s worth it. Your second wind kicks in, the goal is in sight and nothing will stop you now. The rewards, small and no-so-small, begin to collect and grow. You are filled with gratitude to God, family, associates and the world for what you have learned and how you have grown in the journey.

6. It’s finished. This is the most beautiful part. Even before crossing the finish line, your dream has taken on a life of its own and it will succeed in spite-of-you, with or without you. Your legacy is intact and will be passed on to future generations.

Be like Tim the-tool-man Taylor and add “more power” to your dreams. When inspiration calls, answer the phone and give it directions to fine you.

I would love to hear your "power tools". Please comment.

We welcome reprinting of articles in your newsletter or magazine, providing credit is given as follows: “This article was written by Mona Dunkin, Motivational Speaker and Personal Success Coach, www.monadunkin.blogspot.com or www.monadunkin.com.”